Put on the spot for Thanksgiving? I present an Atheist's grace

Comment by Ron V on November 22, 2011 at 3:44pm

Sorry, I don't have the original link

  • A Secular Grace:

For what we are about to receive
let us be truly thankful
…to those who planted the crops
…to those who cultivated the fields
…to those who gathered the harvest.

For what we are about to receive
let us be truly thankful
to those who prepared it and those who served it.

In this festivity let us remember too
those who have no festivity
those who cannot share this plenty
those whose lives are more affected than our own
by war, oppression and exploitation
those who are hungry, sick and cold

In sharing in this meal
let us be truly thankful
for the good things we have
for the warm hospitality 
and for this good company.

 

or

  • Let us enjoy good food and good drink,
    And let us thank all whose efforts have set them before us;
    Let us enjoy good companionship,
    And let us each one be good company to the others;
    Let us enjoy ourselves, without guilt,
    But let us not forget that many are less fortunate.
Comment by Robert Karp on November 22, 2011 at 3:45pm

Let us enjoy ourselves, without guilt,
But let us not forget that many are less fortunate.

 

Awesome.

Comment by Robert Karp on November 22, 2011 at 3:49pm

Some other one's I found:

 

A Secular Grace:

For what we are about to receive
let us be truly thankful
…to those who planted the crops
…to those who cultivated the fields
…to those who gathered the harvest.

For what we are about to receive
let us be truly thankful
to those who prepared it and those who served it.

In this festivity let us remember too
those who have no festivity
those who cannot share this plenty
those whose lives are more affected than our own
by war, oppression and exploitation
those who are hungry, sick and cold

In sharing in this meal
let us be truly thankful
for the good things we have
for the warm hospitality 
and for this good company.

  • There is also this from the humanist writer Nicolas Walter:

    Let us think thrice while we are gathering here for this meal.
    First, let us think of the people we are with today, and make the most of the pleasure of sharing food and drink together.
    Then, let us think of the people who made the food and drink and brought it to us, who serve us and wait on us, and who clear up and clean up after us.
    Finally, let us think of all the people all over the world, members with us in the human family, who will not have a meal today.

  • For those who find these humanist graces too long, or don’t want to be reminded of the suffering of others just before a celebratory meal, there are these simple words of secular thanks and good wishes:

    We are thankful for the food on this table.
    We are thankful for this time together.
    Our thoughts go out to family and friends;
    We hope that they are safe and well.

  • Or these words of humanist benediction:

    For the meal we are about to eat,
    for those that made it possible,
    and for those with whom we are about to share it,
    we are thankful.

  • George Rodger, of Aberdeen, Scotland, used this god-free grace at the start of a wedding meal:

    Let us enjoy good food and good drink,
    And let us thank all whose efforts have set them before us;
    Let us enjoy good companionship,
    And let us each one be good company to the others;
    Let us enjoy ourselves, without guilt,
    But let us not forget that many are less fortunate.

  • Here’s a beautiful Buddhist meal gatha that is entirely secular:

    We receive this food in gratitude to all beings
    Who have helped to bring it to our table,
    And vow to respond in turn to those in need
    With wisdom and compassion.

  • Or how about this variation on a Native American thanks giving:

    We give thanks for the plants and animals who have given themselves so that we can enjoy this meal together.
    We also give thanks for our friends and family who have traveled here today.
    May this meal bring us strength and health.

  • A secular version of the famous “Serenity Prayer” can also work before a meal:

    Grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.

  • The Quaker tradition of "silent grace" before meals also works well for a dinner party with people of diverse religions and beliefs. All present join hands in a circle around the table, and are silent for half a minute or so as they collect their thoughts, meditate or pray. Then one person gently squeezes the hands of the people seated adjacent; this signal is quickly passed around the ta

Comment by Boatman on November 24, 2011 at 7:51am

In my misspent youth, I was asked (ok, ordered) to deliver the grace at an Officers Mess Working Breakfast.  I offered up

 

"O Lord, make us not like the oatmeal, thick and sour, but like the cornflakes, crisp and ever ready to serve."

 

The order was not repeated.

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